Restart – Sleep and Stress:
Though every animal sleeps the mystery behind the reason for brain needs to sleep is remain unsolved. Many Neuroscientists have reported that sleeping process is not only an important factor for brain development but is the very crucial thing to assist the effects of the waking process by transforming memory into more enhanced form.
Mostly sleeping problems or disturbed sleep always result in mental disorders including depression, stress, schizophrenia – that affects ability to think or understand clearly, Alzheimer’s disease – memory or mental problems, memory syndrome, injuries in body or head, dementia or memory loss. The signs and symptoms of these disorders are strongly regulated by the amount of sleep or total duration of undisturbed sleep a person may encounter. Difficulties and risks are due to the usage of drugs in order to control or treat any symptoms of disorder. It is resulted from varying functions of brain chemicals like neurotransmitters that induce sleep.
Stress, Attitude, Behavior, and Sleep
Many of us have experienced how sleepless nights affected stress levels and our mood. You will get a plenty of surprising and important details on why we are experiencing a disturbed sleep and what are the reasons for sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation effects:
For proper brain development and functioning, adequate sleep is very important like the requirement of food, water, and air. Sleep and wakefulness cycles can be modified by the impact of stress.
Moderate or severe sleep deprivation will affect the mental performance simply it diminishes their brain activity. A neurology professor at the University Of Minnesota Medical School, Mark Mahowald alerts many people “Any amount of lack of sleepthroughout the night is similar to impairing of driving test as a legally intoxicated alcohol and blood level”.
Eve Van Cauter at the annual meeting of American Diabetes Association in June 2001 reported that people would become less sensitive to insulin secretion if they did not get enough sleep. These conditions are serious threats which will affect brain’s performance as they increase the chance of high blood pressure and diabetes occurrence.
At Chicago University, Dr. Van Cauter a professor of medicine discussed that “changes in the metabolic rate and endocrine functioning are the results of severe sleep deficit that indicates the aging process. We highly doubt that acute sleep disorders not only fasten the onset of symptoms but also increases the risk of any age-related problems including diabetes, memory problems, obesity, and hypertension.”
The study – Stress hormones and Insomnia
It is very obvious that stress can affect regular sleep but medical researchers from the State University College of Medicine in Pennsylvania have quoted another explanation of why adults and middle-aged people especially men losses sleep. As stated by Dr. Alexandros N. Vgontzas it will not happen due to what they are really bothering about rather it is mainly due to increased risk of sleep to stress hormones.
The stimulation of (CRH) corticotrophin – Releasing Hormone is more sensitive to men who are aged. For example, at the same time if both middle-aged men or young men administered CRH, the sleep cycle of middle-aged men will get affected and he stay awake for long period of time. (People who do not get enough information the “slow wave sleep” are high prone to depressed state.)
The presence of insomnia condition for long time in middle-aged people are the effects of depriving sleep performance in regards to high sensitivity of sexual arousal stress hormones like Cortisol and CRH suggested by Vgnotzas and his colleagues.
There is also another study where the researchers conducted a combined study on insomnia patients with those without any sleep disorders. From that study, they have noticed that “High level of cortisol will be secreted with the insomniac patients who have experienced a high degree of sleep problems especially in the late evening hours or night time hours”. And based on the study it is also suggested that acute insomnia results from the persisting hyperarousal of stress-response system.
Study- stress and sleep patterns
Several researchers recommend that the major difference between people who lose sleep while under stress and people who sleep like a baby? May be the way each person cope up their sleep patterns.
Dr. AviSadeh, a professor of Tel Aviv University after conducting a study among several students he came to know that “Students who often focus on feelings, emotions and anxiety state throughout the course of high-stress period were found to lose their sleeping patterns when compared to those students who would always do not give much care about emotions instead they are more focus on things that provide prolonged sleep and make them away from the stress.”
The medical researchers have conducted clinical studies in regards to sleeping pattern among 36 students aged from 22 to 32 and all the studies were documented. These tests were conducted during a routine week as well as stressful weeks for comparative study. And it has been found that the quality of sleep will be improved or retained in students those who have steered their concentration away from anxiety and emotions but for the students who worried and fretted the quality gets diminished based on the way hoe they cope with stress.
Sadeh also said that “If you could not deal with the stress, sleep on it” as in many cases “sleep can regulate your nervousness and anxious state and make you escape from the stress when you cannot do anything about it.”
Study- Sleep patterns of children in regards to behavior
There was a study conducted among 500 preschoolers in Northwestern University and resulted that the students who sleep for less than 10 to 12 hours per day including small naps during daytime are more prone to behavior changes including aggression, inappropriate behavior or oppositional behavior.
Many researchers identified that sleeping problems happen not only in regards to medical conditions like allergies, hearing difficulties, infections in ears but also regards to social issues and psychiatric problems. Children who have been encountering depression, aggression or anxious during the stressful state are more prone to sleeping disorders like an inability to maintain perfect sleep and wake cycle. Yet, as age increases the sleep problem may get diminishes these early symptoms with irregular sleep patterns are the best notification for future sleep disorders.
The Snoring Effects
Most commonly snoring is often considered as comic nuisance to others. We might have come across many situations where a couple fights over snoring or children laugh at the way their grandpa’s snoring either during night time or during afternoon snap. You may receive complaints on your snoring behavior in the next day if you are the one who disturbed others sleep on the previous night. Remember the fact that snoring can cause severe brain-related problems and it may also alter intellectual level. If you are so curious about the details behind the snoring habits you can check out at any time.
What is mean by sleep apnea?
A sleeping disorder that damages the normal breathing while a muscle relaxes at the time of sleeping is known as sleep apnea. The serious condition is obstructive sleep apnea where the brain gets damaged more severely.
If a person is suffering with obstructive sleep apnea he might find difficult to breathe as inhaling of air will create suction that might damage the windpipe. This condition will block inhalation and exhalation range from 10 seconds to 1 minute if there is any difficulty in breathing during sleep.
If there is any reduction in oxygen levels in the blood, as a response the brain will awake the person to tighten the upper airway and helps to open the windpipe. If the people snore or breathe through mouth then there will be a short break in breathing and this cycle will get repeated over a period of time or the entire night.
This sleep apnea condition may cause frequent awakening that may result in personality changes including depression, irritability or aggression. It may also decrease the oxygen-carrying capacity this leads to depriving mental performance and develops an increased risk of heart attack.
The major symptoms of sleep apnea are very loud snoring habits and excessive day time sleepiness. But it is not necessary that every individual who has snoring habits has struggled with this disorder. In addition, repeated headache during morning are the major signs of sleep apnea.
The study- Risk for strokes in snoring adults
Many research scholars evaluated 1500 adults for determining the link between the risk of stroke while snoring along with the day time sleepiness and drowsiness. There are also other factors that associates with the risk factors are race, age, smoking habit, gender, blood pressure level and diabetes. These risk factors have a significant relationship with sleeping factors.
Adnan I. Qureshi, M.D., the assistant professor and lead author under the topic of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo “We have noticed that abnormal sleeping traits like sleeping for more than nine hours, the ability to sleep during the day time, and the tendency to snore in the favor of having a stroke.”
“There are several cases where individuals who snore in severe conditions or having troubles of awakening during the day time should need to consult a doctor to find out the possible way out”.
Research studies on Children Snoring and Intellectual Potential
“Snoring is always an issue and it is considered as very serious problems, as snoring indicates the intimates the existence of increased resistance of upper airway while sleeping” reported by Dr. David Gozal, a lead researcher at the University of Louisville.
During an interview with Gozal and his co-worker Dennis W. Pope, they have reported that 2000 middle-school students were under study and about 13% of them are found with frequent and loud snoring habits in the early childhoods on comparing with other 5% of top quarter students. It is also noted that 50% of loud smokers have been living with adults who have been under smoking habits for a long time.
The breathing disorder and disrupted sleeping patters are associated with snoring habits that lead to hyperactivity disorder like Attention-deficits and Hyperactivity, allergies and asthma. It also includes aggression and behavioral changes as this health problem would adversely affect academic excellence and it also determined that child’s intellectual capacity. This research suggests that children who have experienced breathing problem in regards to sleep-disorder for a period of months are highly associated with deficient brain growth and it leads to cognitive and intellectual capacities. It also affects their academic performance in large rate.
He also believes that very loud and repeated snoring will lead to snoring problem includes behavioral changes, learning disabilities, sometimes bedwetting. To escape from this it is strongly recommended to take a necessary evaluation by contacting any pediatric sleep specialist.
Study-Snoring and ADHD
The relationship between snoring and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in kids and young children was found out by a researcher Dr.DavidGozal at the University of Louisville. This researchers and his team had conducted a research over 6000 six to seven years old and parents on 20,200 students of first graders. And from the result, it is clearly understood that huge number of ADHD affected children had experienced repeated loud snoring when compared to normal children. It is severe risk factor more than the snoring habits of parents due to exposure to smoking.
During his services when he diagnosed and treated many children for snoring, the severity of ADHD has become much better or sometimes completely cured. In some children, it did not provide permanent resolution but it helped them not to depend on medication alone instead it enhances their behavior.
Above 3000 young children were studied in Italy where the interesting facts were found out that group of people with highest BMI has more snoring habits when compared to the group of people who have very low BMI ( BMI is just the measure of total weight in relation to total height).
Study-Gravity and Snoring
Scientifically, the human respiratory system has been influenced by gravitational force. Due to this fact, five space astronauts were found to have some weightlessness based on breathing problem caused due to sleep. And in order to evaluate this news, many scientists have under the leadership of Dr.G.KimPrisk at the University of California in San Diego. They found that with zero gravity the breathing problems were reduced to 60% because of that snoring problem was vanished.
He also suggested the report “ the breathe related problem may be due to the sleeping position in a more upright position instead of normal sleeping position like on the back.”
How Sleeping habits benefit brain cells
There is no compensation can be done for good and peaceful sleep at night time as if you had undisturbed sleep throughout the night you will feel refreshed and remain fresh for the entire day. But do you aware of the medical fact that while you are on sleep, the learning and memory cells get enhanced. Have you realized that you had done exams well when you had slept well the day before the exam than the nights you stayed for a long time? Know more about the benefits of sleep and how you can enjoy those hours.
Study-Sleep Enhances Brain Connections in Early Development
Studies on animals have shown that sleep would enhance the brain connections during its development stage. The researchers at the University of California have examined that the reflections of sleep in young cats brain cell plasticity. It is also identified that animals which were under sleep for six to seven hours after the stimulation process it initiates two times the amounts of brain change on compared to the cats that kept awake after the same process.
It is the first solid evidence,“A good sleep can change the development of connections among new brain cells.” suggested by G.Frank, Ph.D. It explains the broader version of intimation for plasticity in adult animal’s brain and people’s brain.
Michael P.Stryker Ph.D., a senior study has stated that “ Sleep is likely to be induced by other or higher parts of the brain if the development was prolonged for long years in life it is difficult to come out of it, it is simply the critical periods never end until senility.”
The more detailed information is that the range of plasticity which is the link between several nerve cells in the brain will depend on the quality of deep or sound sleep. It is intimidated by vary slow brain waves. It is a type of sleep to which a person falls into first when they go to sleep and they account for half time of sleep in very young animals and humans. He also said that it is the right time in life for the brain to reorganizes its connections in order to achieve the precision needed for an adult.
An Efficient Way to Prepare for Exams
For facing exam challenges sleep is an important part and it has been proved. “Sleep provoked more plasticity than double the amount of exposure. For example, if you have worked on papers till you became tired and then go for sleep, the brain plasticity will be more than if you were up all the night to do that paper works ”- say Michael P.Stryker, Ph.D.,
Studies also have shown that learning and memory will be affected by disturbed sleep. It is well known that animals or not even humans can perform well on memory tasks if they have in proper sleeping habits.
Study-REM Sleep Enhances Emotional Memory
The performance of rapid eye movement or REM sleep cycle is very important for memory formation. One of the German-based scientists at the University of Bamberg from the Physiological and Psychology department has done the comparative study on emotional memory retention versus normal or neutral material. During the dominant phase of REM, sleep participants had tested over the internal coverings with late or early sleep.
Sleep will not only improve the brain controls when compared to awake process but it also found out that “ Late sleep enhanced memory for emotional text and this same effect was highly significant on comparing with memory response for neutral texts.”
The author also commented that REM sleep dominates the formation of emotional memory development in late sleep.
Study-REM Sleep and Learning
Dr.RobertStickgold and his fellow researchers at Harvard Medical School demonstrated that the importance of sleep, dreams, and memory and how REM sleeps play a vital role in learning new things. There are many types of learning out of which learning a music or understanding how to play musical instruments will come under procedural learning type.
The healthy REM cycle will be helpful for decision making. During the phase of REM sleep, normally the brain will integrate all the information that received throughout the day but it would not process. For learning a simple task or having the simple memory it is not necessary to sleep on it.
He also said that sleep will be helpful in erasing or removing memories of distant and immediate past. Dreaming is one such process in sleep.
Study-Activating Memory in sleep
Research studies were done on rodents, humans, and birds to determine the brain activity. The result suggested that brain activity gets started while awake and it is later reinitiated during following sleeping phase. This process consolidates and stores the near experience into memory.
At Rockefeller University, many scientists have conducted studies on several rats. And the result showed that few brain cells that functioning during the daytime seem to reactive at night time sleep. The memorable situation will make the brain to activate a gene called Zif-268 and that strengthens communication among nerve cells.
In one experiment, scientist made a group of active rats to enriched surroundings and the other group of rats to normal cages in the home. And they allowed all the rats to pass through stages of slow wave and REM sleep. During the phase of slow wave sleep, in all the rats zif-268 has been deactivated irrespective of their environment. But the gene got activated on cerebral cortex and hippocampus during the REM sleep of rats that were exposed to the enriched space (Labyrinths) on the other side the rats those were not exposed to this enriched environment the gene remain turned off.
In order to go through the memories of novel experiences, the zif-268 gene will be retrieved and become activated during REM sleep cycle along with any other brain mechanism. Sometimes this process may result in cementing the memories obtained during awake.
Why do people naps or why do cats or other animals nap? It is just because they can as you can. In order to correct or rectify the poor mental performance specifically after a depressed state or sleepless and stressful nights, napping may be one of the best things to do. It can also help to overcome nighttime sleep loss.
From the study of middle-aged Japanese men, it is found that the daytime vigilance level has been properly maintained by mid-afternoon nap. The surprising fact is 15 – 20 minutes of napping will improvise your performance and self-confidence for undergoing any work.